A Study of Sports Consciousness of Residents in Taiwan

Introduction

Since January 1, 2001, Labor Standards Law (2000) has been taken effect officially in Taiwan. Under the law, there are two-day weekend and the labor hours are reduced to 84 hours for two weeks. As a result, the public is going to enjoy 144 days of vacation per year. The time for leisure and recreation has increased substantially. In addition, GNP in Taiwan reached $12,941 in US dollars (Executive Yuan, 2001). As shown in Table 1, Taiwanese residents have not only the wealth but also the time when the Physical Labor Datum Law took effect.

Table one

Table 1 GNP per resident in Taiwan US dollars

Moreover, Gross National Product has reached a total of $2,883 hundred million (Executive Yuan, 2002a) which rose in rank to the developed country. As far as for the employment structure, the publication of Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics, R. O. C. Taiwan Region Human Resources Statistic Outcome (Executive Yuan, 2002b), reported that service industry occupied 57.28% surpassing the total of industry of agriculture and fishery. A separate statistic, Report on the Survey of Family Income & Expenditure in Taiwan Area of the Republic China (Executive Yuan, 2000b) , pointed out that consumers expanded 13.51% of the income on entertainment, education, and culture service in 2000. All of the above has reflected the living qualities of Taiwanese residents.

In addition, based on a profile of Taiwanese public use of the time, an Investigation of Taiwan Region Social Development Tendency (Executive Yuan, 2000a) the average time to spend on physiology needs (sleep, dining, cleaning, dressing and makeup) was 10 hours and 54 minutes in April and May in 2000. It was 10 minutes higher than in 1994 and 21 minutes higher than 1987. On the other hand, restraint time, such as work, school, commute, housework and shopping, was seven hours and one minute. It was 35 and 27 minutes lower than in 1987 and 1994. However, Taiwanese had an average of 6 hours and five minutes in free time, which was 15 and 17 minutes higher than in 1987 and 1994. This has proved that Taiwanese residents began to pay more attention to promote a better living quality. Comparing to Japan, time for physiology needs was 22 minutes shorter whereas restrain and free time was 17 minutes and 4 minutes higher than Taiwan since Japanese residents has average of one hour less sleep and 22 minutes more in housework. In Australia and Canada, restraint time was 14 and 23 minutes more than in Taiwan; however, these two countries had an average of one hour of working time, but the housework and shopping was one hour 48 minutes and one hour and 25 minutes higher shown in Chart 1

Chart 1 An average living hour of residents of age 15 and above

Time: hour and minute

Physiology need Restrain time FreeTime
Sleep work Housework and shopping
Republic of China ( 2000 ) 10.54 8.42 7.01 4.09 1.47 6.05
Japan ( 1996 ) 10.32 7.44 7.18 4.10 2.09 6.09
Australia ( 1997 ) 10.58 8.36 7.15 2.53 3.35 5.47
Canada ( 1998 ) 10.24 8.06 7.24 3.18 3.12 6.12

Source: An Investigation of Taiwan Region Social Development Tendency, Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R. O. C (2000a). Taipei: Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R. O. C

The investigation also indicated 72.2% of Taiwanese residents of age 15 and higher reported participating in physical activities during leisure time which was a little lower than 74.5% in Japan. More, the participation rate for physical activity was 74.2% in male and 70.3% in female. Three common forms of physical activities practiced by 51.7% of Taiwanese residents were jogging, walking, and quick walking. 21.6% exercised everyday and 58.4% reported doing the above activities weekly. The next common physical activities were mountain climbing and hiking about 32.6%. Of which, only 4.4% reported participating daily and 26% weekly. Depending on age, regular exercise and age had an opposite trend in Taiwanese residents. 85.8% and 48.4% of Taiwanese residents age 65 and above reported jogging, walking, and quick walking as well as mountain climbing and hiking. However, the rate dropped to 50% to 20% for age of 50 and under. This has indicated the need to form a habit of regular and sustained physical exercise.

Furthermore, many research and studies related to exercise participation or recreation pointed out that there were only a small number of Taiwanese residents participating in regular exercise. For example, Executive Yuan Physical Education council published a study in May 1999 (Chen & Yan, 1999) indicated there were very few residents participated in regular physical activities even though there were over 90% of the people reported engaging in recreational activities. School education and public policy needed to improve and cultivate the public’s knowledge in utilizing time for physical activities especially Taiwanese society was generally work oriented.

Studies related in desire in physical activities, Liu and Wang (1999) believed residential area, gender, age, occupation, and education were related to types of physical activities, time, and location. The most desired physical activities were badminton, table tennis, bowling, jogging, and cycling whereas the most engaged activities were badminton, swimming, jogging, basketball, mountain climbing, billiards, bowling, quick walking, and folk dancing. Time for participating physical activities was before eight am and after six pm and locations were community park, riverside park, school stadium or sports ground, and at home.

Similar research and studies reflected that behavior, desire, and conscious of Taiwanese resident’s physical activities were limited to facilities and locations, which should be further researched by the department of physical education. Past research pointed out the relations among desire and conscious of physical activities, age, gender, economic status, and recreation skills needed to be studied. How to evaluate and understand the above relations so results can be applied practically is valuable to academic research as well as policy making in the government.

The purpose of the research is to investigate the preferences, routines, conscious and opinion of Taiwanese residents in physical activities related to government policy in developing physical education and recreation activities.

The scope of the research included 25 counties and cities in Taiwan (Jilong city, Taipei county, Taoyuan county, Yilan county, Hsinchu city, Hsinchu county, Taichung city, Taichung county, Mioli county, Zhanghua county, Nantou county, Yunlin county, Jiayi city, Jiayi county, Tainan city, Tainan county, Kaoxiong county, Pintung county, Penghu county, Taidong county, Hualien county, Taipei city, Kaoxiong city, Jinmen county, and Lianjiang county. Subjects are Taiwanese residents age 15 and above with physical capacity. The study also utilized computer-assisted telephone interviewing system to conduct interviews.

Literature Review

Physical Activity Consciousness

French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist, Rene Descartes, said “Cogito Ergo Sum – Thinking Accounts For Being”. Therefore, the meaning of consciousness speaks for itself.

Hobson (1994), a professor at Harvard Medical School, indicated consciousness is the brain becomes aware of certain information. The individual consciousness changes its focus or goes into different levels when the brain pays attention to or experiences different things at the time. There are six levels of consciousness: unconsciousness, subconsciousness, marginal consciousness, focal consciousness, unconsciousness, and pre-conscious (Bernstein, Clarke-Stewart, Roy, Srull & Wickens, 1994).

  • Unconsciousness is how individual not knowingly regards to things in the environments. For example, an individual is unaware of one’s own heartbeat or pulse.
  • Subconsciousness is an individual with experience of consciousness but indistinct of the content of the consciousness.
  • Marginal Consciousness: an individual has experience of consciousness, but don’t have enough clarity about its content.
  • Focal Consciousness is what an individual perceive explicit consciousness when one focuses on something without distraction.
  • Unconsciousness is the emotion, desire, fear or complicated experience underneath an individual’s conscious mind. Even though unconsciousness is controlled by the consciousness, an individual is not aware of it.
  • Pre-Conscious: unconsciousness is a point supported by scholars of psychoanalysis. However, they also believe that between consciousness and unconsciousness lays another level: pre-conscious. The major difference between pre-conscious and unconsciousness is that the overstock experience of the unconsciousness cannot be recall by an individual whereas experiences in pre-subconscious can. Through the process of psychoanalysis, an individual is able to recall an experience from unconsciousness to consciousness, which needs to pass through pre-conscious.

Whether a conscious state exists in an individual depend on three aspects: reaction, recognition, capabilities and character of moral integrity (Darley, Glucksberg & Kinchla, 1990). The nature of consciousness is in motion, a process and exists at present (Edelman, 1989). Consciousness allows unity in experiences (Dennett, 1991). In the capability of controlling consciousness, Jacoby, Lindsay and Toth (1992) pointed out the main function of consciousness process was to allow an individual’s ability to control an environment in order to reach a goal. When expected outside force disturbs behaviors of a preplanned goal, the capability of controlling consciousness was going to emerge noticeably.

For the time being, there is not a clear defined definition and boundary of sport consciousness. Therefore, the research synthesized the above literatures to provide an operative definition as the following:

“An individual regards to sports related activity to make use of mental phenomenon, such as senses, consciousness, reflection, and remembrance to detect one’s intrinsic and extrinsic conditions of body and mind in relation to interests, habits, values as well as opinions on development of physical activity policy.”

Classification of Physical Activities

To classify each everyday activity as sports, recreation, play, physical activity, or sports activity is not a simple task since the participant can decide or plan the mode of physical activity depending on people, affairs, time, and location. Bucher and Krotee (1998) classified the scope of physical activities from play, recreation, community activity, school physical education and sport, sport clubs, amateur and Olympic Sports, intercollegiate sport championships to the professional competition. The above physical activities have many differences among each other. Other classifications of physical activity or sports are open and close, individual and team, as well as professional and amateur. It can also be classified into three categories: recreation, prized and professional. Furthermore, some scholars classify physical activity in absolute sports or whether the activity requires equipment and facility. If to classify physical activity by its goal, it can be categorized into professional, educational and recreational. Moreover, it can be defined by the concepts: broad sense as in competing with another person or narrower sense as in self-striving. In addition, it can be limited to a race or competition to be totally distinguished from physical education or training.

Research Method
Research Structure

The purpose of the research is to understand Taiwanese residents preference, habit, value and view on government policy making regarding to physical activity based on gender, age, education, occupation, family monthly income and location. Therefore, the research focused on demographic statistics and aimed at analyzing among variables. The research structure is shown in Table 2.

Table two

Table 2 Research Structure

Research Process

The process of the research is to decide a research topic before finding out research motivation and research subjects. After deciding the research purpose and scope, literatures related to consciousness, physical activity and physical activity participation are gathered before drafting the research method. The Table 3 is the research process.

Table Three

 

Table 3 Research Process

Research Subjects

To conform to the research requirement and understand indeed the consciousness of the physical activities in Taiwanese people, the research subjects include Taiwanese residents of age 15 and above with physical capability in 25 different counties and cities. The sample size is the population of these 25 different counties and cities in 2001. However, the sample chosen in this research is limited to the sampling method, which could not reach the same accuracy of the random sampling. To minimize the error in the survey and increase the representativeness of the sample group, the samples chosen in the research reach 99% confidence level and 2% error. Based on the above condition, the formula is used to calculate the number of samples needed for this research, which are 4,161 samples. Therefore, the research planned at least 6,000 valid samples as the goal.

Sampling formula : Sampling Formula

Research Tool

The research gathers data through a questionnaire designed and developed by the researcher, the Investigation of the Consciousness of Taiwanese Residents Questionnaire. The questions in the questionnaire cover the subject’s interest, habit and value in participation of the physical activities, opinions on physical activities policy as well as background information.

Based on the research goal and its scope, preliminary questions were initiated. Later, the research team examined each question to make sure the wording was clear and comprehensible as well as whether the language used were able to be comprehend by subjects with various backgrounds. After revising, questions were organized into a first draft questionnaire to be reviewed by seven experts in the field from different universities and colleges in Taiwan to see if the questionnaire conformed to the goal of the research. Moreover, Physical Education Committee in Executive Yuan invited various experts and specialists as well as the research team to again modify and provide specific suggestions on September 16, 2002.

After the above revision, the research team tested the questionnaire using FJS-CATI system on September 24, 2002. The subjects were selected from 25 different counties and cities. There were 188 subjects with 94 males and 94 females and of these 188 subjects, 107 agreed to be retested after five days to ensure the validity of the questionnaire. From the pilot test and pre-samples, the questionnaire did not need further revision. In addition, comparing the first and the second interviews by the same 107 subjects, every question has an identical rate between 80.37% (86 subjects have parallel answers) and 100.00% (107 subjects have parallel answers). Therefore, the process of developing the questionnaire and drafting the questions include not only multiple revisions and examinations of sports experts and professionals as well as investigation by the government, which gathered experts from various backgrounds, but also pilot-testing to ensure the validity and effectiveness of the questionnaire to make certain it indeed matches the purpose of the research. As for the effectiveness of the contents, results from the first and second survey are consistent which also represented the validity of the questionnaire.

Results and Discussion

The purpose of the research is to investigate the preferences, routines, values and opinion of Taiwanese residents in physical activities related to government policy in developing physical education and recreation activities. Subjects are Taiwanese residents age 15 and above with physical capacity. The study also utilizes computer-assisted telephone interviewing system to conduct interviews. There are total of 6,000 subjects in the study; however, within one month, there were 11,688 subjects contacted. Of 11,688 subjects, 4,014 subjects refused the interview and 7,674 accepted the interview. The success rate is 65.66%.

The analysis of the background information of Taiwanese residents

In 7,674 subjects, the number of male and female subjects are 3,755 (48.93%) and 3,919 (51.07%). The age group of “36 – 45” has the most subjects which is 1,739 (22.66%), and next group is “23 -35” which is 1,668 (21.74%). As for the education background, “college and above” has the most subjects, 2,336 (30.44%) and the “high school” comes in second, 2,332 (30.39%). For the category of occupation, “unemployed” has the most subjects, 1,984 (25.85%) and “administrative staff” comes in second, 1,024 (13.34%). The family income of “40,001~50,000” has the most subjects, 1,228 (16.00%) and “50,001~60,000” comes in second, 1,106 (14, 41%). The last category is the location, which “Taichung city” has the most interviewed subjects, 1,230 (16.03%) and “Taipei city” is the second with 1,100 (14.33%).

Catogory Number Percentage Accumulative Number Accumulative Percentage
Gender Male 3,755 48.93% 3,755 50.00%
Female 3,919 51.07% 7,674 100.00%
Ages 15-18 Years Old 617 8.04% 617 8.04%
19-22 Years Old 744 9.70% 1,361 17.74%
23-35 Years Old 1,668 21.74% 3,029 39.47%
36-45 Years Old 1,739 22.66% 4,768 62.13%
46-55 Years Old 1,518 19.78% 6,286 81.91%
56-65 Years Old 921 12.00% 7,207 93.91%
66 and above 467 6.09% 7,674 100.00%
Education Illiterate 293 3.82% 293 3.82%
Elementary 1,075 14.01% 1,368 17.83%
Middle school 1,461 19.04% 2,829 36.86%
High school 2,332 30.39% 5,161 67.25%
College and university 2,336 30.44% 7,497 97.69%
Graduate degree 177 2.31% 7,674 100.00%
Occupation A 133 1.73% 133 1.73%
B 58 0.76% 191 2.49%
C 623 8.12% 814 10.61%
D 825 10.75% 1,639 21.36%
E 1,024 13.34% 2,663 34.70%
F 917 11.95% 3,580 46.65%
G 212 2.76% 3,792 49.41%
H 244 3.18% 4,036 52.59%
I 272 3.54% 4,308 56.14%
J 479 6.24% 4,787 62.38%
K 1,984 25.85% 6,771 88.23%
L 903 11.77% 7,674 100.00%

 

Category Number Percentage Accumulative number Accumulative percentage
Family Income 20,000 元以下 541 7.05% 541 7.05%
20,001~30,000 元 610 7.95% 1,151 15.00%
30,001~40,000 元 737 9.60% 1,888 24.60%
40,001~50,000 元 1,228 16.00% 3,116 40.60%
50,001~60,000 元 1,106 14.41% 4,222 55.02%
60,001~70,000 元 848 11.05% 5,070 66.07%
70,001~80,000 元 771 10.05% 5,841 76.11%
80,001~90,000 元 606 7.90% 6,447 84.01%
90,001~100,000 元 659 8.59% 7,106 92.60%
100,001 元以上 568 7.40% 7,674 100.00%
Location Taipei city 1,100 14.33% 1,100 14.33%
Kaoxiong city 563 7.34% 1,663 21.67%
Jilong city 146 1.90% 1,809 23.57%
Hsinchu county 113 1.47% 1,922 25.05%
Taichung city 344 4.48% 2,266 29.53%
Jiayi city 65 0.86% 2,331 30.38%
Tainan city 312 4.07% 2,643 34.44%
Taipei county 1,230 16.03% 3,873 50.47%
Yilan county 161 2.10% 4,034 52.57%
Taoyuan county 660 8.60% 4,694 61.17%
Hsinchu county 74 0.96% 4,768 62.13%
Mioli county 129 1.68% 4,897 63.81%
Taichung county 457 5.96% 5,354 69.77%
Zhanghua county 390 5.08% 5,744 74.85%
Nantou county 153 1.99% 5,897 76.84%
Yunlin county 234 3.05% 6,131 79.89%
Jiayi county 221 2.88% 6,352 82.77%
Tainan county 372 4.85% 6,724 87.62%
Kaoxiong county 396 5.16% 7,120 92.78%
Pintung county 337 4.39% 7,457 97.17%
Taidong county 88 1.15% 7,545 98.32%
Hualien county 61 0.79% 7,606 99.11%
Penghu county 19 0.25% 7,625 99.36%

Chart 2 Background Information

Annotation: A = Military personnel; B = administrative executives, business owners and managers; C = professionals; D = technician and professional assistant; E = administrative staff; F = service workers and sales; G = agriculture, forestry, fishery workers; H = skilled workers and related; I = mechanics and operators; J = non technical and physical labor; K = unemployed; L = students; M = others; N = non response.

The analysis of Taiwanese interests in physical activity

  • The research result showed there were 7,575 (98.71) subjects participated in physical activity in the past three months and 99 (1.29%) subjects did not.
  • In general, the most participated activities by 7,575 subjects in the past three months were walking (35.75%), jogging (29.21%), basketball (21.91%), hiking (12.82%), excursion (12.57%), and mountain climbing (12.36%).
  • Of the 7,575 subjects, the reasons for participating physical activities were “to create health and strength” (40.79%), “interest and mood switch” (22.96%), “for work or school” (21.82%).
  • On the other hand, 99 subjects reported the top three reasons for not participating physical activities: “too much work in school, housework, or kinds to exercise” (72.73%), “no particular reason” (38.38%), “no opportunity” (32.32%).
  • When asked whether to watch sports programs or competition, 67.68% of 7,674 subjects reported to watch sports programs or competition regularly whereas 32.31% did not.
  • The most enjoyed watched sports programs or competitions by 5,194 subjects were jogging (32.31%), baseball (26.67%), succor (22.66%), basketball (19.60%) and mountain climbing (15.09%).
  • 93.11% reported watching sport programs and competitions, 50.27% reported from television, 36.79% listen from the radio and 19.98% reported researching from the World Wide Web.
  • Last, when asked about the most anticipated physical activities in the past or at the presents, subjects reported walking (35.65%), jogging (29.71%), basketball (21.72%), mountain climbing (13.06%), and hiking (12.71%).

The analysis of physical activity tendency in Taiwanese residents

    • 4,347 out of 7,575 subjects reported having regular physical activity which was 57.39% and 3,228 out of 7,575 reported not having regular physical activity which was 42.61%.
    • When asked about the number of times in physical activity per week, 3,169 out of 7,575 subjects reported “once a week”, 22.77% of the 7,575 reported “twice a week” and 12.25% reported “three times a week.
    • 47.72 % of 7,575 subjects reported exercise one hour or less each time. 30.01% reported one to two hours of exercise each time. 1,108 subjects exercised two to three hours each session and 579 subjects exercised three hours and more each time.
    • When asked about the intensity of the physical activity, out of 7,575 subjects, 2,606 (34.40%) chose “moderate intensity”. 2,480 (32.74%) subjects reported “low intensity” and 1,570 (20.73%) subjects “moderate to high intensity”. 468 (6.18%) subjects reported “intense” and 451 (5.95%) subjects reported “mid-intense”.
    • 2,151 out of 7,575 subjects reported doing physical activity in the “early morning” and 26.83% of 7,575 reported “afternoon” as the time of the day for physical activity. Next, 1,668 subjects reported “morning” and 1,369 subjects reported “during the night”. “Noon time” had 355 subjects.
    • When asked about the partner, “alone or no partner” received 2,654 out of 7,575 subjects. Next was “a family member” with 1,881 subjects, “friends” was next with 1,402 subjects, “classmates” with 750 subjects, “colleague” had 412 subjects, “neighbors” had 343 subjects, and finally “no particular partners” was the last with 133 subjects.
    • The top three locations mentioned by the subjects for physical activities were “park”, “sports field or stadium in school” and “private facility” with 37.28%, 35.08%, and 26.14% of 7.575 subjects.
    • The percentage of subjects in each categories in the time for traveling to locations for physical activities were 63.74% for “10 minutes or less”, 23.52% for “11 to 30 minutes”, 8.17% for “31 to 60 minutes”, and 4.75% for “60 minutes and above”.
    • When asking about the fee related to participating physical activity, 87.27% of 7,575 subjects reported “no” and 12.73% reported “yes”.
    • The channels to receive information related to physical activity or exercise were “televisions” with 62.64%, “newspaper or magazines” 21.78%, “internet” with 8.58%, “radio” with 6.03% and “others” with 0.96%.
    • For the item of “what are some of the information to be obtained?”. 53.52% of 7,575 reported “national and international competitions”, 34.11% reported “exercise guidance or instructions”, 8.71% reported “physical education policy” and the last was “others” with 0.66%.

The analysis of values regarding to physical activity in Taiwanese residents

The first five values regarding to physical activity in 7,674 subjects were “health”, “team cohesion”, “stand by the rules”, “sports spirit” and “enjoyment”. The percentages were as the following: 39.25%, 13.79%, 13.55%, 12.97% and 12.05%.

The content analysis of opinions on government’s developments of physical activity policy

There are four open-ended questions in this category and 7.674 subjects. The questions focused on the opinions related to development of physical activity policy. The researcher summarized the reply of the first three questions “increase sports facility and fields”, “promote the concepts of exercise and health”, “open school sports facility and fields”, “increase professional sports consultants”, “offer free exercise instruction courses” and “offer sports competitions”. There were also answers that weighted less and categorized as “the others”. For the questions four, the content of the reply focused on “increase equipments of the sports field and facility”, “develop specific sports”, “hold international competition”, “future plan for the elite athletes”, “invite outstanding coaches”, and “practical physical education from childhood”. Other single answers were categorized as “the others”.

The analysis of these four questions is as the following.

  • To promote physical activity for the whole people, what kind of services do you think the government should enhance to increase your interest in participation?

After analyzing the content of the answers, the research discovered that to increase the interest in participation of physical activity, the government needed to “increase sports facility and fields”. There were 2,290 similar replies. Also 1,749 subjects believed that “ promote the concepts of exercise and health” was the key to increase interests in participating physical activity. Moreover, 1,611 subjects thought that government needed to “open school facility and fields” to increase interests in physical activity. 807 subjects mentioned that “increase professional exercise consultants”, 609 subjects believed “offer free courses on exercise guidance” and 551 subjects considered that government needed to “offer more sports competitions” to increase people’s interests in physical activity.

In the end, there were 57 subjects mentioned “not clear about government’s policy”, “never thought about it”, “no time for such matters”, “strengthen economy”, “more promotion”, “no interests to understand government policy”, “financial support”, “no opinion”, “more community activities”, “no need to develop policy”, “not important”, “stable life”, “traffic course needs to be clear”, “more teams”, “more trees”, “no ideas”, “plan more one-way street” and etc. All of the above answers were categorized into “the others” and it was 0.74% of 7,674 subjects.

  • What are some of the services need to be provided by the government to increase your frequency of participating physical activity?

After content analysis, the research discovered that on the issue of promoting physical activity for the whole people, “increase exercise facility and field” was the key to increase the frequency of participation. Answers similar to or related to “increase exercise facility and field” received 30.04% of 7,674 subjects. Also, 1,731 subjects believed that the key was in “promote the concepts of exercise and health” and 1,573 subjects mentioned, “open school sports facility and fields”. Moreover, 786 subjects and 613 subjects mentioned, “increase professional exercise consultant” and “more sports competitions”. 603 subjects believed “free courses on exercise instructions” as the keys to promoting frequency of exercise participation.

Last, 63 other replies in this questions were categorized into “the others” with 0.82%: “not clear about government policy”, “no opinion”, “strengthen economy”, “no time to think about this matter”, “more promotion”, “no interests in understanding government policy”, “financial support”, “no need to development this kind of policy”, “never thought about it”, “depends on individual interest”, “plant more trees”, “plan more one-way street”, “employment for all”, “no need for exercise because it is not important”, “don’t understand the question”, “no interests at the present time”, “need a partner”, “not important”, “have not thought about it”, “increase welfare so people will have time”, and etc.

  • What are some of the service need to be done for you to form a regular habit of doing physical activity?

There were 2,351 subjects (30.64%) voiced opinions similar to “increase sports facilities and equipments”. Moreover, 1,753 subjects believed that the government needed to “promote the concept of health and physical activity” for the public to form a regular habit of doing physical activity. “Open school sports facility and fields” received 20.39% in this question. 745 subjects (9.71%) mentioned that “increase professional exercise consultants” was the key to help the public form regular exercise habit. In addition, 528 subjects believed the government needed to “hold more sports competitions”.

Finally, replies such as “not clear about government policy”, “no time for such a question”, “strengthen economy”, “no opinion”, “improve community center”, “enhance promotion”, “training of sports talents”, “no interest in understanding government policy”, “no need to develop policy”, “no interest at present”, “not important”, “Exercise when one feels like it”, “need a partner”, “transform one’s life style”, “depends on the situation”, “initiate physical activity for all”, “depends on one’s desire” and etc are classified into “the others”, which covers 1.04%.

  • What do you think it needs to be done the most to improve the standard of physical education and sports?

To improve the standard of physical education and sports, 2,351 subjects (30.64%) mentioned “future plan for the elite athletes”. Also, 1,684 subjects believed the governments should “increase equipments of the sports field and facility” and 1,598 subjects would like to see “practical physical education from childhood”. Moreover, “develop specific sports” and “hold international competition as well as “invite outstanding coaches” received 9.59%, 8.50%, and 7.74% in this question.

Last, 59 subjects provided replies such as “not clear about the government policy”, “no opinion’, “never thought about it”, “haven’t paid too much attention to it”, “more encouragement to the athletes”, “financial aid from the government”, “value athletes”, “increase the public’s interests”, “change government policy” and etc. The above replies are classified into “the others” which received 0.77% in this question.

Reasons for refusing the interview

There were 4,014 subjects refused the interview in this research. The reasons provided were as the following: “no time” with 78.77%, “not in the mood to do the interview” with 6.43%, “don’t understand the meaning of the questions” with 5.78%, “questions are too long and complicated” with 4.91%, “not interested in this research” with 2.67% and “questions involved personal information with 1.44%.

Discussion

This study interviewed 11.688 subjects, and 4,014 out of 11,688 subjects refused to be interviewed whereas 7,674 subjects accepted it. The success rate is 65.66%. According to Babbie (1998), when adopting questionnaire interview as a tool for collecting data, the success rate has to reach 50% to be applicable. When the success rate reaches 60%, it is considered positive. When the success rate reached above 70%, it is considered very positive. The success rate in this research is between “positive” and “very positive”. Therefore, it is suitable for further data analysis.

The result of the study indicated 90% of the subjects participated in the physical activity in the past three months. This result is similar to and even higher than the researched by Chen and Yang (1999), which Excutive Yuan, PE Committee authorized the investigation. In general, the top six most participated physical activities are: walking, jogging, basketball, hiking, excursion and mountain climbing. Many researchers in Taiwan (Chen and Yang, 1999; Excutive Yuan, 2000a; Executive Yuan, PE Committee, 2000) reached similar outcome. At the same time, Australian researchers Darcy and Veal (1996), American researchers Vries and Bruin (1996), Cordell, McDonald, Lewis, Miles, Martin and Bason (1996) all pointed out “walking” is the most common physical activity of the general public and other physical activities are focus on outdoor recreation.

Moreover, the main reason for physical activity is “to create strength and heath”, which resembles the research result of Clough, Shepherd and Maughan (1989). The reason for the resemblance is probably related to the illness and pressure from the civilization. People are trying to seek mental and physical health and to improve strength through physical activity. Furthermore, the main reason for no physical activities in the past three months is “too busy in school, housework, children bearing so there isn’t any time”. 72.73% indicated the above reason for not having physical activity, which demonstrated time is an influential factor in affecting the participation of physical activity.

There are about 70% of the subjects watched sports competition or related programs. The top five most watched competition and related programs are jogging, baseball, soccer, basketball and mountain climbing. The result of the research also pointed out Taiwanese public is deeply influenced by television, which is the most utilized when enjoying the sports competition and related programs. Jogging is the top watched program could be caused by that jogging is also the most participated activity. From January 2002 to September 2002, Taiwan hosted 22 various activities related to running including many international race and Iron Man Triathlon. Therefore, jogging is the most watched activity. In addition, the fever of 2002 World Cup in Korea and World Baseball Championship hosted in Taiwan resulted highly exposed baseball and soccer. All of the above reinforce the results of the research to a certain degree. Moreover, the top six most wanted to participate activity in the future are also related to the most participated activity. These activities are walking, jogging, basketball, mountain climbing, hiking, and excursion. This indicated that people are more interested in outdoor recreation activities. Also, this also revealed that people’s immobility in the physical activity and the unwillingness to change the engaged activity.

There are only about 60% of subjects have regular habit of doing physical activity. Comparing to the study prepared by Chen and Yang (1999), it has grow substantially. 40% out of the 60% exercised once a week and 50% of the subjects reported one hour or less for each session. The intensity is “moderate” to “low”. Also, the time for physical activity or exercise focuses on “early morning” and “afternoon”, and subjects indicated not having partners. The locations are centered on “park” or “school facility and field” where only require “10 minutes or less” in traveling. The research also revealed that as much as 90% of the subjects pay no regular fee for doing physical activity. All of the resulted are related to the most participated physical activity. In the meanwhile, 60% subjects received most of the physical activity related information from television.

In the analysis of values toward physical activity, subjects revealed the top five values are health, team cohesion, obeying rules, sports spirit, and recreation. This indicated the main concept in physical activity is established on the premise of “health”. Simultaneously, influenced by the engraving impressions of the sports, subjects also pointed out values such as, team cohesion, obeying rules, and sports spirits that are related to sports competitions.

Subjects believed that to increase people’s interest, frequency and participation in physical activity, the government needed to “increase sports field and facility”. Moreover, government needed to provide “future plan for elite athletes” in order to increase standards of physical education. Since the results reveal the demand for sports field and facility and to improve the standards of physical education, providing a foreseeable future is the first step.

Last, 4,014 subjects pronounced “no time” to reject the interview. The rejection rate is around 80%, which could be caused by the time for conducting phone interview from six to 9 in the evening. This period of time is usually for dinner or television. Therefore, in the future research, it is important to broaden the interview time frame.

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